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Aetas15. évf. (2000.) 1-2. sz.



  • Nótári Tamás :


    Medea Palatina

    Notes on Cicero's Caeliana with special regard to the person of Clodia

    The essay aims at highlighting some aspects of the speech Cicero made in defence of M Caelius Rufus in April 56 BC, on the first day of Ludi Megalenses. Pro Caelio is an important stage in Cicero's fight against Clodius (and his clan), a fight that had a number of effects, sometimes fatal, on the life of the great orator as well as on the political events of the final years of the republic. The first stage of the hostile relationship can be dated to 73, when Clodius dealt a shattering blow on Cicero's wife Terentia by accusing the latter's half-sister, the Vestal priestess Fabia of incestum. It was this insult, among others, that Cicero wished to revenge in 61, partly at the urging of Terentia, by his testimony against Clodius in the Bona Dea case, which, however, did not have the desired effect since Clodius was acquitted. Clodius responded by supporting Cicero's exile in 58 and destroying his house on Palatinus. In 56, due to a peculiar coincidence of political and private circumstances, Cicero had the opportunity to deal an annihilating blow in Caeliana on Clodius' sister Clodia, whom he mocked with murderous satire during the trial, employing the means of the Roman theatre, in particular of comedy, thereby producing a kind of theatrical performance in the Megalensia, the season for ludi scaenici anyway. (Although it is not part of the history of pro Caelio under discussion here, we mention that in 52 Cicero would defend Milo, who had killed Clodius during street fights.)

    Cicero's career probably had several more glorious and historical points, but few moments only when, as it will hopefully have transpired from the few remarks above, he was able to present, as an orator, such a brilliant theatre and ingenuously structured composition before the judges as he did in the Megalensia of 56 BC. The speech, of course, had the proper effect, Caelius was acquitted, and the trial gave Cicero an excellent opportunity to revenge, if only partially and verbally, the series of injuries that Clodius and Clodia had inflicted upon him.

  • Kőfalvi Tamás :


    The monastery of Pécsvárad started functioning as locus authenticus sometime in the early decades of the thirteenth century, the earliest records of this activity surviving from 1254. During this activity, involved in administering cases of constitutional and civil law, the monastery issued authentic charters of the legal procedures carried out before, or performed by it. Most of these documents are related to cases in which the parties personally went to the monastery to have their transactions in civil law put down on paper. Some of these instruments containing legal depositions of private persons include clauses that provided for punitive sanctions for the parties violating the provisions of the document. The author analyses the sanctioning clauses in the civil law instruments issued by the locus authenticus at Pécsvárad between 1254 and 1526, although only a minority of the surviving documents contain such clauses. These clauses most frequently provide for the payments of sums of money, the surrendering of property rights over estates, the facing of legal sanctions. Through a statistical analysis of the surviving clauses, the author shows that in cases of civil law the sanctioning clauses were most frequently used in cases concerning estates, the payment of fines being the usually stipulated punishment. The analysis of the contents and usage of these clauses shows that the character and use of these sanctions were determined, with contemporary customary law taken into consideration, mostly by the common consent of the parties.

  • Szász Géza :


    The French state and the Protestants in the 17th century — from toleration to prohibition

    In October 1685, Louis XIV banned the practice of reformed religions in the territory of his realm with the Edict of Fontainebleau. This royal decree can be interpreted as the abolishment of the Edict of Nantes (1598), and put an end to nearly hundred and fifty years of coexistence of Catholics and Protestants.

    The essay analyses the royal policies in the period between the two edicts and discusses the attempts at securing (and abolishing) the rights of those of reformed denominations, the ways they came up against the state, and how the use of force came to dominate in the policy of the French state during the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715). Besides the text of the Edict of Fontainebleau, printed in the appendix, the findings of the recent French literature and the posthumous Memoires of Abbé Choisy, a contemporary not widely known in Hungary, have been used for the analysis.

    For a finer analysis and understanding of the way to the Edict of Fontainebleau, the essay briefly sketches the process of the spreading of the Reformation in France and the essence of the Edict of Nantes. The important events of the period following the death of Henry IV (1610) include the reestablishment of the rights of the Catholic religion and Church in Béarn Province and the move of Richelieu against the „Protestant party". Working on building up the absolutistic monarchy, Richelieu wanted primarily to abolish the military-political privileges (fortresses and independent armed forces) of the Protestants permitted by the Edict of Nantes, and would allow them to practise their religion. The siege of the important Protestant centre, La Rochelle (1627-1628) was part of the drive to abolish the said military-political privileges. The struggle between the king and the Protestants was stopped for a long time by the clemency edict of Louis XIII at Ale's (1629), which confirmed the free practice of religion and abolished the military-political privileges. The same period saw a spiritual renewal and expansion of Catholicism in France.

    In the late 1650s, the government led by Cardinal Mazarin launched another attack against the Protestants, who had been loyal during the Fronde (1648-1653), the goal being possibly the abolition of the religious organizations of the Protestants.

    When discussing the personal rule (1661-1715) of Louis XIV, the essay joins the trend of French historiography that holds that the main characteristics of the three consecutive periods are the deployment of legal force, opposition the „spirituality" of the Edict of Nantes, and restrictions on the practice of religion, respectively. In the second phase (1679-1685) the king applied force (use of military violence, quartering soldiers to Protestants) trying to convert the Protestants. The period from 1685 to the death of Louis XIV (and in fact to 1787, until the emancipation of the Protestant religion), begins with the prohibition of the reformed religion by decree, soon to be followed by open violence (execution of Protestant pastors, confication of property, condemnation to the galleys). Seeing the failure of the initially welcome edict, at the end of the 17th century even the Catholic clergy thought that a more lenient treatment would be desirable.

    The final phase of the wave of violence following the Edict of Fontainebleau was the uprising of the Camisards in Southern France (1702-1710), moved, apart from the demand of religious freedom, mostly by the Old Testament ideology of the „chosen people".

    The Edict of Fontainebleau was a decision fitting into the logic of the absolutistic state that was against any kind of particularism, and even Louis XIV regarded it as the completion of a nearly century-long process. Based on false premises (exaggerated statistics concerning the number of converts) and religious bigotry, the decree was a mistake from political and economic aspects alike since it forced hundreds of thousands of Protestants to seek refuge abroad, leaving Louis XIV alone in the European scene, where earlier he had had the Protestant princes as allies against the Holy Roman Emperor. It has to be emphasized, however, that the notion of religious-ideological tolerance could not be interpreted in 17th-century France.

  • Zakar Péter :
    Haynau egyházi áldozatai [119.81 kB - HTML]EPA-00861-00014-0040


    Haynau's clerical victims

    The massive participation of the Hungarian clergy in the war of independence of 1848-1849 was a disappointment for government circles in Vienna. Accordingly, especially within the Catholic church, there was a desire to remove all revolutionary, "seditious" elements from among the clergy. The paper analyses the activities of the clerics executed during the activity of General Haynau in Hungary.

    The fact that the victims included Lutheran, Calvinist pastors and Catholic priests would seem to confirm that the war of independence of 1848-1849 had no denominational character. The lives, careers, and personal traits of the victims varied. Lutheran pastor Pál Rázga became an important participant in the events in Pozsony through his political and ideological liberalism. In the case of the victory of Hungarian liberals, there was a good chance, he thought, that „Magyars, Slovaks, and Germans [live in this country] freely and happily with respect to their national equality". He was executed in Pozsony on June 18, 1849 after a lengthy court martial procedure.

    Antal Manszbarth Roman Catholic and János Szikszay Calvinist pastors were executed at Nagyigmánd on July 12, 1849 as part of the pacification process of the district of Mór, regarded by the Austrians as „of subversive spirit". The intent to deter is the most obvious in their case: the charges were formulated rather vaguely („they preached on popular uprising, continuously inciting their parishes against the imperial government"), what was important was the speedy execution of the sentences. In connection with the executions on July 12, Roman Catholic priest István Mester recorded in his diary an experience that was valid for all clerical martyrs: „I pleaded for them with Haynau for a long time, but to no avail…"

    Catholic priest Dávid Mészáros from Sopornya had to die on July 16, 1849 for a mass said for the victory of the Hungarians and for being in possession of a few revolutionary proclamations. The revolutionary government had sent most of the latter to all the parishes within its jurisdiction.

    The execution of the priest of Vértesboglár, Miklós Streith on September 7, 1849 was meant to make the agitated local population see reason. In his case even the military tribunal was divided over passing the capital sentence. The charges are identical with those mentioned above: reading out revolutionary proclamations, encouraging popular uprising, and the appreciation of the pitchfork as an „efficient weapon". Although Mór König, the chaplain of the executed parish priest had headed the insurgents of four neighbouring villages, he „got away with" heavy imprisonment.

    The last martyr, János Gonzeczky, an army chaplain who had left the kaiserlich und königlich army for the Hungarian forces, was executed on October 8, 1849. He was one of the minority of the mostly non-Hungarian speaking troops of the military stud institution at Mezőhegyes who firmly supported the war of independence. This was the cause for repeated conflicts between him and the majority of the troops. He explicitly condemned the policies of the ruling dynasty in his sermons, and at the end of masses he prayed for the victory of the Hungarian army rather than for the emperor. It is no wonder that a great amount of condemning evidence was collected against him during the investigation.

    The rather loose interpretation of legal possibilities, the occasionally cavalier handling of testimonies, and the arbitrariness of the decisions concerning extenuating circumstances were common features of the court martial and summary procedures. The goal of the executions was mostly the intimidation of the local population, but the imperial goverment would have to pay a high price for it. The Catholic Church, the hoped for supporter of consolidation turned away from the regime, and the struggle against oppression resulted in the strengthening of political cooperation among the denominations in Hungary.

  • Hermann Róbert :
    Az 1849-1850. évi kivégzések [225.06 kB - HTML]EPA-00861-00014-0050


    The executions in 1849-1850

    There are still a number of unanswered questions concerning the retributions in Hungary after the revolution. The public, as a rule, knows the name of Premier Lajos Batthyány as one of the executed, people know about the thirteen martyrs of Arad (even if they cannot name them all), but there is a great amount of uncertainty in the literature concerning the exact number of the imprisoned and the executed. The temporal limits of the retributions are also vague.

    The paper tries to establish the number of the executed and the various kinds of executions employed. The first chapter discusses the intellectual justification of the executions. It describes the retribution used by the Hungarian government against the rebelling nationalities during the civil war in Hungary and Transylvania as well as the atrocities committed by the Magyar population and army. It is pointed out at the same time that the number of the victims to the atrocities committed by the rebelling nationalities was much higher. The Magyar atrocities, on the other hand, were later useful to justify the retributions.

    The second chapter discusses the machinery of retribution. Windisch-Grätz created the Militär und Politische Zentral Kommission, and this organization, and/or one of its subdepartments, the Militär Untersuchungs Kommission carried on the investigations in the cases of more serious offenders. The machinery of retribution was transformed in July 1849, when at Haynau's order the Extraordinary Military Tribunals (Au?enordentliche Kriegsgericht) and the Summary Courts (Standgericht) were set up. At the same time, military commanders were also authorized to pass and execute capital sentences within their own jurisdictions.

    Chapter three describes the various kinds of executions. These were the following: executions on the spot, after summary proceedings, without trial; executions after summary proceedings and trial; executions after regular trial before a military tribunal. This latter subsection describes the Austrian code of court martial procedure and the general characteristics of the trials.

    Chapter four draws up the balance of the retributions. It points out that the victorious Austrian party never added up the numbers of the executed and that probably fostered various legends. Collecting data was difficult in Hungary before 1918 because the court martial papers were not accessible. The „fictitious executions" are also discussed; in such cases the persons in question did not exist or were not executed. Finally, the data concerning the retributions in the wake of the European revolutions are summed up, concluding that the Hungarian retributrion, with regard to the temporal duration of the events and the extent the society was involved, was less bloody than those in France and Germany, and was more moderate than even the retribution in Northern Italy. However, it meant a severe shock for Hungarian society as it was the first time since 1795 that a great number of people were executed for political reasons. What additionally set the Hungarian executions apart from those following the other revolutions in Europe was that the retribution involved the members of the military and political elite to an extent far beyond their proportion in society. Thus, the goal was not simply deterrence; the victors wanted to divest the country of its political and military elite so that it should be incapable of another similar war of independence.

  • Urbán Aladár :
    Gróf Batthyány Lajos emlékezete [149.36 kB - HTML]EPA-00861-00014-0060


    Remembering Count Lajos Batthyány

    Those who fell victim of the revenge of the Austrian government and the circles at court after the revolution and war of independence of 1848-49 included, besides the generals executed at Arad, Prime Minister Count Lajos Batthyány as well. The Count was an adherent of constitutional monarchy, never wanted separation from Austria, and was not even in Debrecen when the House of Hapsburg was dethroned in that town in April, 1849. He had been arrested earlier, in January 1849, when returning to the capital from a peace mission as a member of a delegation to the Austrian Commander-in-Chief Windisch-Grätz.

    Court martial proceedings were immediately initiated against Batthyány, but it was through great difficulties, with false witnesses and through an arbitrary interpretation of his conduct that the charge of high treason could be construed that led to his excution on October 6, 1849. The unprecedented judicial murder caused great outrage in Western Europe, and the pressure of public opinion was so powerful in England that the Austrian government was compelled to send an extraordinary commissioner to explain what had happened.

    While the press abroad published freely on the activities, the trial, and the death of Count Batthyány, in his own country it was forbidden to commemorate him. The first reliable monument to the first constitutional Prime Minister of Hungary was raised by historian Mihály Horváth (Minister of Education in the 1849 government) in his great work published in Hungarian in Geneva in 1865. Batthyány was publicly and solemnly commemorated in Hungary in the summer of 1870, when the capital and the family, with a hundred thousand people attending, reburied his remains so far hidden in the crypt of the Franciscans' church in Pest. At the end of the century, when the Neugebaude, the notorious military building, in which Batthyány had been imprisoned and under whose walls he had been executed by a firing squad, was demolished, the capital wanted to erect a monument at the site of the execution. The monument was finally built in 1926, and stands there to this day in the form of an ornate lamp containing an eternal flame.

    However, the Premier of the first responsible government of Hungary has no statue in the capital. Of his contemporaries, Count István Szécheny's cult was built up between the two world wars, Lajos Kossuth's after 1945, the latter projecting back the personal cult of the one-party system upon the head of state of Hungary in 1849. It is only in the last few decades that a realistic historical assessment of Batthyány has been possible, and researches have shown that the Count was not an opportunist, or a collaborator of Vienna, but the initiator of the Hungarian army organized from the militia and volunteers. The units of this army would then serve as models for creating the national mass army of the war of independence. The essay concludes with a survey of the latest results of this latter approach.

  • Pap József :


    „I was one of the passive resistance,…"!?

    The county and its officials from the end of the Reform Period to the end of the Bach Era

    The counties, run by the nobility, the most important elements of the middle-level administration of Hungary had been the most important guarantee of the separate standing of Hungary within the Hapsburg Empire for centuries. By the nineteenth century, professionalism having become increasingly significant in performing administrative duties, county offices were filled with persons with expertise and training in law, politics, and administration. Most of the county officials came from the Hungarian nobility.

    The basic question the essay asks is to what extent the personal, ethnic composition and origins of the officialdom were modified during the revolution and war of independence of 1848-1849, a watershed in itself in the nineteenth-century history of Hungary, and the subsequent era of Austrian oppression. According to the view widely held in Hungarian historiography, the Hungarian nobility withdrew to their estates, refused to hold offices, and the administration of the counties was run by officials from Austria, Bohemia, Galicia and by untrained Hungarian officials with no experience in the counties.

    For the present paper, in addition to the official registers of county archives, the data in the personal registers in the Hungarian National Archives, the most important biographical encyclopaedias as well as those in the rolls of nobility have been used. The present paper, which is part of a research into the composition of the county officialdom serving between the 1840s and 1867, covers three counties with different geographical, economic, social, and national conditions, Borsod, Csanád and Somogy counties.

    The analysis of the data has revealed that after the failure of the war of independence the principles prescribed by the Austrian absolutist government concerning the complete overhaul of the Hungarian administration and the removal of persons „with a record" from the body of officials cannot be shown to have been put into practice completely, and a considerable number of men „with a record" were employed by the absolutistic administration. It can be shown that a set of high ranking officials with ample administrative experience survived in the counties, often coming from other counties, nevertheless establishing a connection between the officialdoms of the two eras through their very presence. The officals of the three counties were mostly highly competent persons born in Hungary, with a significant though diminishing proportion of officials from before 1849, especially in leading positions.

    The central government organizing the counties probably had its original intentions modified by an emergency since in order to ensure the continuity of administrative activities, it needed professionally competent personnel with administrative experience, even if regarded politically not entirely reliable. The motives, on the other hand, of taking office should, in most of the cases, not be sought in the sphere of individual political views because pressing economic and life style factors played a decisive role.



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